City Officials Are Losing It Over An Arabic Love Sign

February 20th 2016

Taylor Bell

In yet another instance of Islamophobia, city officials in Lubbock, Texas are losing it over a flag with the words "love for all" written on it in Arabic, which appeared draped on a local government building the day after Valentine's Day.

The officials are seeking help from the FBI and Homeland security to investigate the incident, the Washington Post reports.

On Monday, workers at the Citizens Tower building in Lubbock spotted a banner with the positive message written in Arabic hanging on their building and reported it to police, according to the Independent.

The news prompted serious action from Lubbock city mayor Glen Robertson. According to KCBD-TV, Roberston sent a letter to Lubbock's city manager James Loomis, encouraging him to reach out to local police, the FBI, and Homeland Security to get to the bottom of the incident.

The banner has since been removed but it is unclear who put it there and why, according to the Washington Post. The building where the banner appeared is the new place of residence for Lubbock City Hall and is currently under construction, according to the International Business Times.

In a letter obtained by KCBD, Robertson explained his concerns:

"It has been brought to my attention that an Arabic flag has been hung from one of the upper floors of the Omni building. I am requesting that the flag be removed immediately, that we get an accurate translation of the flag, and that Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and our Lubbock County Sheriff's Department."

He continued:

"I am also requesting that we take whatever steps are necessary to secure the building and ensure that this does not happen again. I fully understand that we must gather more facts before we make a knee jerk reaction but I am concerned on several levels. Please keep me informed as we learn more about this situation."

Despite the fear of city officials, the reaction from the community has been mixed.

While some expressed hostility...

"Please take it down," a Lubbock resident told Fox 34. "If it's not directed to anybody and everybody that can understand the language. Criminal charges should be brought up against whoever hung that flag. I don't know what it means so I kind of feel offensive about it."

Burn that fuckin flag only flag that should be waving is United States flag

Posted by Mando Najera on Monday, February 15, 2016

Others had mixed feelings.

"Even though the message seems to be innocuous and well-meaning, that was not the best way to go about spreading the message," Lubbock councilman Victor Hernandez told the Lubbock Online Journal.

Islamophobia by the numbers.

The fearful reaction to all things Muslim has been an increasing trend in recent years — and even more so since the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. A 2015 poll conducted by Zogby Analytics found that favorable attitudes toward American Muslims have dropped in last six years from 48 percent to 33 percent. And following the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernandino, positive perception of Muslims in the U.S. took a hit as well.


Attacks against Muslims have also been on the rise since the attacks in Paris and San Bernandino, according to Deutsche Welle.

Hours after the terrorist attacks in Paris, a mosque in Connecticut was shot at. In the same month in New York, a postal worker spit on a woman wearing a hijab — a Muslim head scarf.

And in December an entire school district in Virginia shut closed all its schools for a day after one teacher gave her students an assignment that featured Arabic calligraphy.